Labs is the largest publisher of Apps on the AppExchange.  There are almost 200 Apps, all available for free.  Where did these come from and how can you get the most out of them? Labs is the way we publish unofficial Apps produced by employees on their own time and initiative based on their experience with the product and with customers.  These developers might come from R&D, Sales Engineering, Customer Support or other internal departments.  The Apps are not official products. Labs Apps cover a wide range of subjects.  For example, there are Apps that help you integrate either Google Maps or Google Analytics to your org.  There are a variety of dashboards around adoption, sales activity and lead management.  There’s a great tool that helps you build data input pages using Sites.   There are Apps that help you manage projects, employees and events.  This is not a complete list – search Labs on AppExchange to see the rest.

There is no single right way to use Labs Apps.  Some of them will meet your needs exactly as they are while others will require a little work to integrate with your org in the way that’s right for you.  You also might find that the Apps are a great way to get ideas for how to do things – how to solve a problem similar to yours, how to write some code that’s been giving you problems or how to put together a particular kind of Visualforce component. Labs Apps are not supported by  Instead, users and developers to get together on the Labs Projects discussion board to talk about the Apps, feature requests, ask how to questions, etc.  The discussion boards are a great resource for users.  You’ll meet power users, App developer, product managers and Apex and Visualforce developers from all over the world. Labs is a great resource for both administrators and developers and the great news is that it continues to grow.  In the last month alone, we’ve published a great new app designed to help customers close more deals, an update to the event management App uses to manage it’s own events and some great new widgets around case history.  Check out Labs Apps – you’re sure to find something you can use.

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